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California sheriffs will play vital role in implementing the 'sanctuary state' law they fiercely opposed

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims is one of many county sheriffs opposed Senate Bill 54. (Gary Kazanjian / For The Times)
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims is one of many county sheriffs opposed Senate Bill 54. (Gary Kazanjian / For The Times)

In California, at least 40 of 58 county sheriffs opposed the "sanctuary state" law designed to limit the people that law enforcement officers can detain, question or investigate at the request of federal immigration officials. Soon, they will be on the front line in implementing it.

As keepers of jails across the state, sheriffs will retain control over who has access to the citizenship status of hundreds of thousands of people booked into their facilities every day. As elected officials, many represent conservative or rural areas, where voters might be more likely to oppose the new state law.

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